November 4th marks the 170th anniversary of the arrival of the first Portuguese immigrants from Madeira. To celebrate, we’ll be sharing our favorite Portuguese recipes and traditions — bom apetite!


Portuguese Red Bean Soup
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 tbs Portuguese olive oil (Tiago)
1 lb Portuguese chouriço sausage, chopped
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 19-ounce cans of red kidney beans, drained
2 cups of dry red wine (a Rioja is great)
1 bay leaf
Large pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tsp sugar
4 cups low-salt chicken broth

In a heavy bottomed pot large enough to hold all the ingredients, sauté the onions and the chouriço in the olive oil until the onions are softened and glazed. Pour off most of the fat. Stir in the potatoes and sweat them for a few minutes with the lid on. Add the wine and scrape any clinging bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken broth, beans, bay leaf, cayenne and sugar.

Bring to a boil and simmer one and a half hours or longer, until the vegetables are tender. Skim fat occasionally. Serve hot with some crusty bread and sweet butter.


Azorean Octopus Stew 
Many wrinkle their noses at the thought of octopus. They’re the ones who haven’t tasted it.

4 lbs octopus, cleaned

For the marinade:
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs paprika
3 tbs hot peppers, chopped
1 cup good red wine
3 tbs Portuguese olive oil (Tiago)
3 large garlic cloves
3 medium onions, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs paprika
6 large potatoes, cut in large dice

Blanch the octopus in boiling water for two to three minutes to stiffen the tentacles and make them easier to cut. Drain, cool and cut into bite-sized pieces. Mix in a bowl with the marinade and refrigerate, covered, overnight. In a large pot sauté the garlic and onions in the olive oil until they are translucent. Add the parsley, salt and pepper, paprika, octopus, marinade and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer and cook until the octopus is tender. Add the potatoes and cook until they are done and serve.


Sardinhas de Escabeche (Marinated Sardines)
2 lb fresh sardines, scaled, cleaned, patted dry.
oil for frying (Mazola or other)

For the marinade:
5 tbs Portuguese olive oil (Tiago)
3 medium onions, cut in thin rings
2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 large tomato, blanched, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tbs white wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika

Open the window and fry the sardines in batches and drain on paper towels, or a brown paper bag. Sauté the onions in the olive oil until golden. Add the garlic and cook until translucent, then add the tomato, bay leaf, parsley and salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar and bring to a boil for about 3 minutes. Cool completely.

Arrange the sardines in a single layer in a shallow pan and sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper, then pour the marinade over the sardines. Refrigerate for 2 days.


Iscas Com Elas (Marinated Calf’s Liver) 
Serves 2 to 3
1 lb calf’s liver
2 large cloves garlic, chopped finely
Salt and white pepper
2 bay leaves
1 tbs white wine vinegar
1/2 cup dry white win
1 lb small new potatoes
2 oz pork fat or fat back
1 tbs flat leaf parsley, chopped

Slice the liver thinly and place in one layer in a glass or ceramic oblong pan. Scatter the garlic over the liver, season with salt and white pepper, add bay leaves and pour the vinegar and wine over all. Marinate two hours or overnight covered in the refrigerator. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, cool, slice or quarter (depending on size) and reserve.

Render the pork fat in a large skillet. Quickly sauté the liver slices in the hot fat and remove to a warm plate (don’t overcook). Remove the bay leaves from the marinade and pour the marinade into the hot skillet, bring to a boil, add the potatoes and cook down to a sauce. Dip the liver into the hot sauce and arrange on warm plates, garnished with potatoes and a sprinkling of parsley.


Joe Amaral’s Grilled Octopus
2 octopus, cleaned
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, quartered
2 bay leaves
1 tbs salt
12 peppercorns
1 small bunch thyme
2 cups or so of dry red wine
Water to cover (about 3 cups)

For the marinade:
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs dry red wine
1 tbs fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Olive oil and fresh lemon juice to finish
Chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish

Rinse the octopus under cold water. Put it with all of the ingredients in a large heavy-bottomed pot and bring slowly to heat. Simmer for 30 minutes until tender. Allow to cool in the broth. Remove octopus from poaching liquid, cut the tentacles off close to the body. Discard the body. Rub the purplish skin from the tentacles.

Combine the marinade ingredients in a nonreactive bowl and allow the octopus to marinate for 24-48 hours (longer is better). When ready, remove from the marinade, pat with paper towels and grill over medium hot coals until heated through and blackened on the tips (about 4-5 minutes total grilling time). Dress, while hot with a little olive oil and lemon juice.